Zimbabwe’s finance minister has announced that the government is going to cut 25,000 jobs in the civil service because it cannot afford to foot the bill, the state-run Herald newspaper reports.
Patrick Chinamasa told parliament salaries and allowances would also be cut and there would be no bonuses for two years. Most civil servants receive a bonus at Christmas, known at the “13th cheque”.
Diplomats overseas will also be affected – and there will be cuts to embassies and consulates.
Zimbabwe is finding it hard to balance the books at the moment: There have been delays in paying civil servants their monthly salaries, including the police and army.
This is because the country is not collecting enough in taxes to pay them.
The Herald says at the moment the wage bills account for 97 per cent of taxes collected.
The measures announced by Mr Chinamasa are expected to reduce employment costs to about 60 per cent, it says.
Zimbabwe’s economic hardships have led to unprecedented protests against the government in the last few months.